This year's Finnish selection will consist of three semifinals to be held live on the 7th. the 14th and the 21st of February with the national final taking place on the 28th of February. A total of six participants will be featured in each semi-final and three of them will qualify for the final, meaning there will be a total of nine finalists.
Unlike in the previous editions of UMK, there will be no jury this year. Only the votes from the audience will count and will determine those who qualify for the final and, eventually, the winner of UMK 2015. A lot of phone calls might come in, and it will be for the better as all the funds collected from the voting will be donated to charity.
Get to know the participants
First semi-final, 7th of February:
This group was formed in 2008 by two admen, Klaus Suhonen and Hans Täckensröm (yes, he’s the one on the bass). According to the band, their music is “a perfect soundtrack to either chilling out on a Mediterranean hotel terrace with a glass of rosé or just hanging out in a Finnish summer house”.
Originally from Cuba, Norlan has been a Finnish-based ambassador (“El Misionario”) for various styles of latin music since 2005. Sung in Spanish, No Voy A Ilorar Por Ti tells about Norlan’s father, with whom he was very close. Unfortunately Norlan couldn’t be there when his father passed away.
This four-piece came together at a cultural workshop for the learning disabled and they’ve been making fierce punk rock ever since. A documentary on the band, The Punk Syndrome, was released in 2012 and has won several awards both in Finland and abroad.
Beautiful stadium pop with influences such as Kent (from Sweden) and Coldplay – that’s how this quintet describe their music. With brothers and domestic partners playing in the band together, Pihka ja myrsky is actually a big happy family.
Satin Circus was formed in 2010 by four fellow students and released their debut album (Expectations) four years later. Their high-octane live performances are always stunningly breathtaking and these young gentlemen are bound to play their modern pop in big arenas all over the globe very soon.
Vilikasper combines pop melodies with urban folk sound. This chill skateboarder works in a kindergarden and has charmed, among others, the Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, who personally called Finnish record companies about Vilikasper's excellence after hearing him perform.
Second semi-final, 14th of February:
Eeverest are the latest EDM-hopes from Finland. “We want to make it internationally and be eventually bigger than Mt Everest”! Their singer Ida is just 16 years of age, but her voice – as well as the fresh sound of the trio - made a huge impression on the UMK team making their choices last year.
The talents of this young musician have also been noted in Sweden where Jouni recently signed a deal with Playground Music Scandinavia. Formerly a singer for a band called Grandeville wants to win the Eurovision Song Contest in order to “spend his prize on restoring old Finnish steamboats”!
Opera Skaala is a collaboration between three artists: a mezzo-soprano (Essi Luttinen), a composer-producer (Visa Oscar) and a director-set designer (Janne Lehmusvuo). Their first effort together was a successful performance combining Vivaldi’s arias with electronic dance music. In UMK they will introduce new and original music for the first time ever.
It’s all or nothing for Otto when it comes to making music. Formerly the frontman of a band called Superscar, Otto recently quit his day job in order to concentrate fully on his career in music. Truth or Dare is his first solo effort.
A group that brings a breath of hot Indian air to the freezing concrete jungle of Eastern Helsinki, Shava is probably the only Finnish bhangra-group in the world. Taking their audiences to nirvana-like trance, “bhangra is the new rock’n’roll”, claims frontman Kiureli Sammallahti. And he is probably right.
This lovely young lady is at home on stage where she is able to mix various styles of music. Currently studying to be a professional musician, Siru loves composing and will release her debut album later this year. Oh, and she’s also the winner of The Voice of Finland 2014.
Third semi-final, 21st of February:
Aikuinen (“Adult” or “grown-up” in English) is an entertainer partly influenced by various classic comedians such as Harold Lloyd and W.C.Fields. Kyynelten lahti (Bay of Tears) is how he feels what Finnish pop should sound like. It doesn’t sound very happy. “However, it should be fun to dance to”, he says.
Although Angelo De Nile has appeared as a character in various stages and events in history, UMK 2015 is where this mysterious artist makes his live debut. His song sums up the lives he’s lived so far and is about his will to win. “Winning means the world to me. Now it’s the time and the place for Angelo De Nile to conquer Europe.”
Heidi was crowned the Tango Queen of Finland in 2013, a moment she says was a long-time dream come true. After having released her debut album in May 2014 she’s back with Bon Voyage – a song that brings back the golden ages of disco-schlager.
Ida has been making music since she was just a little child. She was also one of the very first professional female skaters in Finland. Through her song she wishes to raise communality and to inspire people to do more good deeds every day.
A bunch of happy gloomers with roots in punk and rock’n’roll but eyes and ears on the future - that’s Järjestyshäiriö for you. Their UMK -song (“The Corners of Broken Hearts”) is a perfect example of their style in 2015 – which will also see the release of their fourth album.
Solju are Hildá Länsman and Ulla Pirttijärvi-Länsman, daughter and mother –duo from the Finnish Lapland combining modern pop with traditional Sami sounds. While Ulla is one of the leading Sami artists of our time, Hilda is a young talent still in the early stages of her career. Their song was partly written by Linda & Ylva Persson, two Swedes whom the Eurovision fanatics are certainly familiar with.
UMK - Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu
The Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) or in English, New Music Competition, looks for Finland's best new songs. UMK, first used in 2012 as the Finnish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, is open to all musicians regardless of musical style to contribute their own unpublished demo songs.
Finland is looking for another success after reaching the Final twice in a row in Malmö with Krista Siegfrids and in Copenhagen with Softengine's Something Better, the winner of UMK 2014, who placed 11th.